On World Disability Day meet the real life “Iqbal” from Hyderabad
Cricket’s what I love!
Being differently abled can be debilitating for many, but ask Harikrishna – who is speech and hearing impaired and he says, “Cricket is what I loved from childhood and I just knew that this was the game I was going to pursue. Yes, my parents wanted me to study, but since I was so involved in the game, they told me that as long as I give time to studies as well, I could play cricket!” And Hari ensured that he lived up to the promise – his basic education helped him become an associate at Amazon and his cricketing passion meant that he played various DICC tournaments (Disabled ICC) held around the world. And he has been doing that so well now, that he has been selected for the India A team.
Watching lqbal was like watching my story!
I would love to meet Sehwag
As he tell us this piece of information there is a twinkle in his eyes and he says he cannot wait for Feb 2018 when the tournament is slated to begin. He says the last time he played an international match he scored an unbeaten 115 runs against Australia at Dubai back in 2014. Yes, Hari is an opening batsman and idolises India’s best opener Virender Sehwag. “I love the way he plays as an opener and it would be wonderful if I can meet him some day! I also like Virat Kohli and his style of playing.”
Tough times, tougher resolve
As he looks forward to playing in India A side, he tells us this journey was difficult but that’s what made his resolve stronger. Growing up, Harikrishna was not born in the most fortunate of families. His father was a daily-wage labourer at a nearby construction site and that meant no fancy cricket coaching. But that did not mean relaxation. Ask him about the Hindi film Iqbal and if he thinks that’s his story too and he says with a smile, “Yes, that’s totally my story! The hard work and the strenuous practice sessions – I identify with it.” As a student, every morning Harikrishna would head to the Uppal Stadium and begin his training at 4 AM without fail – he tries to maintain this schedule till today. His responsibilities have grown – he now is a father to a 4-month old son and has to look after his parents too, “so sometimes even if I want to play cricket full time, it’s not realistically possible.” Currently though he says is happy in this space – where he has his Amazon associates and managers who respect him, friends who understand him and a family who supports him.